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Parts of Hurricane-Ravaged New Orleans to Re-Open Today

  • VOA News

Parts of hurricane-ravaged New Orleans are set to re-open to business owners Saturday.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has called on business owners to return to the famous French Quarter and three other parts of the city to revive economic activity. The areas are located on some of the highest ground in the low-lying city.

Businesses will have to operate under difficult conditions, with officials warning there may be limited or no electricity or clean running water. Starting Monday, nearly 200,000 residents will be allowed to return to their homes.

Most homes in the city are damaged, and many are uninhabitable. Less than one-half of New Orleans remains flooded, but dangers from downed power lines, natural gas leaks, toxic debris and other hazards remain.

Hurricane Katrina ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast region on August 29th. The total death toll in five states now stands at more than 800.

President Bush said Friday the federal government can fund a massive recovery effort without raising taxes, but it will require spending cuts elsewhere in the U.S. budget.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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